Boston’s Hub On Wheels Event – A Day of Cycling in The City

Last Sunday I rode in my first “Hub On Wheels” ride in Boston. The event has been around since 2005 and is designed to promote cycling and good health, showcase the various neighborhoods of the city, and to raise money for charity. About 6,000 riders participated in this unique event this year.

Storrow Drive

Boston’s busy Storrow Drive is closed to traffic and open only to cyclists on the morning of the event. This presents a unique opportunity to ride on a big, wide road with a bunch of cyclists while taking in a unique view of the city. Riding down Storrow Drive on a bike allows you to take in the Charles River and Boston skyline views in much more detail. The ride goes out to the end and then doubles back on the other side.

Touring the city streets and parks

Once off the cycling “highway” the route (if you’re taking the 30 or 50 mile version) takes you through the city streets of Boston, and through the Arnold Arboretum, Franklin Park, and the Forest Hills Cemetery, before heading out to the coast. The ride comes back along the shoreline and ultimately via the Harborwalk and back into Downtown Boston.

Events on the Plaza

Once back from the ride, there are tons of things going on at City Hall Plaza. Bike stunt shows, beer and food tents, and professional racing. A great way to wrap up the ride.

For more information about the event, check out their website at www.hubonwheels.org.

The Fitchburg Longsjo Classic – gone for 2011; will it be back?

A sad time in Massachusetts cycling indeed. The famed Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, already reduced from a four day stage race to a single day event had to be canceled.

There was  a major fire at a building on the course, and streets are still closed while construction crews work on the building. No alternative course could be worked out in time.

It’s a sad time for the race, which had been running for 52 years and was inspired by an incredible cyclist (and Olympic speed skater) from the area, Art Longsjo, who died tragically in a car crash at the age of 26.

It’s also a sad time for the city of Fitchburg. The race attracted thousands of spectators to the city each year, and the race is a unique event steeped in history.

The organizers hope to bring it back next year, but the odds may be long on that. Most races that suffer this kind of setback don’t come back.

Let’s hope they beat the odds.

More details can be found in this local newspaper article.

Photo credit: spokenshutter.com

Harpoon Indoor Time Trial 2.0

Harpoon ITT SceneThe second annual Harpoon Indoor Time Trial was bigger and better than last year. Hundreds of racers competed in many heats throughout the day and night. Up to 24 could race at a time, in groups of 8 surrounding a three-sided techno-center of digital race readouts. Racers and viewers could see real-time speed, distance, wattage and other stats for each rider as each race progressed. Little cyclist avatars also played out the action in real-time. Winners of each heat (male & female) got a free case of beer and overall winners (male and female) won free entry into the Harpoon Brewery to Brewery ride in June.

This year’s race was a lot of fun, and more crowded. The layout was expanded with more bathrooms and larger changing areas. Since the brewery was open for tours this year (with racing on Saturday instead of Sunday), they also setup a bar down near the race warm up area. Uncle Ted’s BBQ food was also available from the Forza-G racing team who were raising money for this year’s PMC ride.

Boston’s WBUR radio station was also on hand, interviewing various folks for its show It’s Only A Game. The Harpoon ITT show should air next Saturday.

BBQ and Bikes and Beer

BBQHarpoon announced another nice addition to next weeks indoor time trial event at the brewery – Bar-B-Q1

Award Winning BBQ for a Cause
Forza-G is a charity cycling team dedicated to the cause of cancer care and research. Each year they ride and fundraise as a team in support of the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) and The Jimmy Fund at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Some members of Forza-G are also part of the Award Winning Uncle Jed’s BBQ Team! They are cooking up a great menu for Harpoon ITT racers and spectators that includes: Bratwursts with peppers & onions, hearty chili (beef or pork), chili cheese nachos, red beans & rice (vegetarian) and veggie burgers. Each item will be $5 each. 100% of the money you donate will be dedicated to helping DFCI find a cure for cancer, and all donations are tax-deductible. Thanks in advance for supporting Team Forza-G in the fight against cancer!

Harpoon does it right. This year’s event is sold out, but check out the event web page (www.harpoonbrewery.com/itt) to peruse some of the details and get ready to sign up for next year. It’s a lot of fun!

Photo Credit: thebittenword.com